On View: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Northwest, 4th Floor
Thornton Dial became a sculptor while constructing railway cars for the Pullman-Standard Company in Bessemer, Alabama, where he remained despite the large-scale Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities in the wake of the enforced segregation and widespread racialized violence of the Jim Crow era. In The Town, we see a parody of white America—colorful houses and clothes contrast with the violence of the figure who has gouged out their eyes, able to see the hidden truths of racism and brutality underpinning white society.
Welded metal, broken glass, window screen, gravel, wire, concrete,
Splash Zone epoxy, enamel, spray-paint, wood
overall: 99 lb. (44.91kg)
storage (on pallet): 178 in. (452.1 cm) (show scale)
None seen, but bottom of base was not inspected
Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018
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Thornton Dial (American, 1928-2016). The Town, 1987. Welded metal, broken glass, window screen, gravel, wire, concrete,
Splash Zone epoxy, enamel, spray-paint, wood, overall: 99 lb. (44.91kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018, 2018.28.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , CUR.2018.28.2.jpg)
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